May 13, 2002


Fortuyn party soars in polls : Fortuyn's party has attracted new voters since his death (BBC, 13 May, 2002)
Support for the party of anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn has been increasing since his murder a week ago, a Dutch opinion poll has suggested.

Projected seats
31 Christian Democrats
28 Pim Fortuyn's List
25 Labour
25 Liberals
15 Greens

With only two days left before Wednesday's general election, Pim Fortuyn's List has overtaken Labour to take second place with 18.5% of the votes, according to the survey by the Nipo research bureau.

A poll by another organisation, Nova, on 3 May put him on 12.4% support, while a Nipo survey on 1 May gave him 17%.

The new poll - the first since Mr Fortuyn's death - puts him only two percentage points behind the leaders, the right-wing Christian Democrats, whose support registers at 20.5%.

Wim Kok's Labour party has been beaten into third

Support for Mr Fortuyn's party was registered at 18.5%, which would give it 28 of the country's 150 seats.

The Labour Party of outgoing Prime Minister Wim Kok has slid to 16.5%, the poll suggests - dramatically lower than the 29% it achieved in the 1998 election.

If the poll is accurate, it would mean Labour losing nearly half its 45 seats.

First of all, what's really fascinating about these numbers, following hard on the heels of the French election, is that it is the European Left that is collapsing and fueling the rise of these nativist nationalist parties. One would have thought that their rising numbers would signal the demise of traditional conservative parties, but that appears not to be the case.

Second, if you're like me, when you read a history of the 1930's and follow the rise of fascism in Europe through relatively democratic processes, there's a sense of disbelief that people were so stupid. As you read these articles, there's a sense that no one learned anything and history is repeating itself. How many will be murdered this time around?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 13, 2002 7:08 PM
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